Astronaut Chris Hadfield (previously) reflects on his career, life on the International Space Station, and the challenges of returning home (as well as commercial spaceflight and the film Gravity) in an interview with the Guardian.
SpaceShipTwo (SS2) [the suborbital craft] and WhiteKnightTwo [its launch system], created by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, have been revealed. More images. Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn says the WhiteKnightTwo will have an "open architecture like Linux to allow other people to develop new vehicles and revolutionize new industrial uses of space". He continues that, if people come to Virgin with plans geared towards the use of WhiteKnightTwo, they will work with them.
OK, OK, we've all heard by now about Virgin Galactic, and their plan to offer customers a markedly suborbital ride and a few underwhelming minutes of zero-G. But some of us know that the future of commercial spaceflight still and always belongs to Pan Am, whose proud (though marred) building still stands in Midtown like a sign pointing to a better, more glamorous future - a future we'd almost stopped beliving in. What a shame that the legendary airline's current, much-reduced incarnation has such humble ambitions: seems to me we need to dream like this, now more than ever.